Overton welcomes youth choir from the Netherlands.

A delightful youth choir from Breda (near Antwerp) in the Netherlands, visited Overton from 4th to 9th July. Over half the choir was accommodated in Ellesmere and it was one of many groups of competitors who had travelled from all over the World to compete in the 54th annual Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

Formed just over three years ago, the mixed chamber choir, "Plurale Tantum" had its origins in a local Church male choir. Their beautiful singing was meticulously schooled and conducted by 19 year-old Ruben De Grann, and was a joy to hear. Although placed 8th and 9th in the Eisteddfod competitions, the host families and those who attended their Saturday evening concert in St Mary's Church, Overton, wholeheartedly awarded them first place. A social evening upstairs in the White Horse was the opportunity for Ellesmere host families to join in.

Paula Bottomley, joint co-ordinator for hospitality in Overton said: "A special thanks must go to Joyce Williams, from Ellesmere, who co-ordinated the transport and other arrangements to ensure our daily assignations with Franz and his beautiful 'Pelikean’ coach - no matter how early! My thanks must also go to the 19 year old choir organiser Martijn van Beck for his lively programming and for his great sense of humour, and to all those who offered such generous hospitality this year. We hope you can join in next year"

.

Ed: Paula would like to hear from anyone who has a car and who can offer their services as Village/Eisteddfod link next year. If you can help, or would like further details, please telephone Paula on 01978 710450

Community Council appoints new Chairman

At the meeting of the Community Council on 11th July, Councillor David Burton was elected as the new Chairman of Overton Community Council, following the retirement of Councillor Farrell.

Upon taking the Chair, Councillor Burton said: "On behalf of the Community Council, I would like to pay tribute to the sterling contribution made by my predecessor, Ken Farrell, both as Chairman and previously as Vice-chairman over the past eight years. I am delighted that Ken’s wise counsel will continue to be available to us".

Councillor Sue Glover was appointed Vice-Chairperson.

Summer Youth Challenge

The Overton Oracle is running a competition for the young people of Overton to write a short article with the theme "The Summer of 2000, the Millennium year".

Entries, of no longer than 750 words, must be hand-written and authenticated by the signature of a parent. The winner of the competition will receive a 20 book token and the article will be published in the October 2000 issue. The competition is limited to those aged 18 or under. Each entry must state the age, name and address and telephone number of the writer. All entries to be delivered to:- Editorial Team, c/o 1 St Mary’s Court, Overton, Wrexham, LL13 0FA, no later than the 10th September. So get writing!

The decision of the judges will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

PLEASE NOTE: The Secretary of the Overton Youth Advisory Committee tells us that the Overton Youth Club will be closed on the 8th - 9th August and also on the 15th - 16th August.

A three month adventure of discovery

Chris Lipson, previously a pupil at Overton Primary School and Ellesmere College, recently completed an exciting three-month expedition to the Antarctic and Chilean Patagonia as a member of the British Schools Exploration Society Millennium expedition.

Originally the main aim of the expedition was to spend time on the island of South Georgia, carrying out scientific projects to contribute evidence to the "South Georgia Environmental Management Plan". Shortly before they were set to leave, the Governor of South Georgia refused them permission to stay on the island because their back-up ship HMS Endurance, had been delayed in a refit in the UK and would not be available to support them. Everything they had previously worked for was suddenly thrown into disarray.

But they were determined to get there somehow. At the last minute they managed to secure berths on a small re-commissioned Russian ice-breaker, taking two weeks to reach South Georgia, during which time they had managed to renegotiate, with the Governor, a stay of just three nights. They planned to do as much of the science projects as they could in that time and while there celebrated the Millennium. As Chris said: "At that time, we were camping on the side of a mountain, and all 15 of us managed to cram into one three-man tent with a bottle of champagne and a set of bagpipes on which one of the team played Auld Lang Syne!!!"

A month into the expedition and they landed in the Falkland Islands to discover the coastline rich with wildlife, with huge colonies of seal and penguins to be found scattered amongst great piles of driftwood and debris. They completed several species counts and also honed up on their climbing techniques on some excellent rock formations. Then it was on to Chile.

There is an area in Tierra del Fuego known as the Cordillera Darwin (Darwin range) which is virtually unexplored, mainly because of the hostility of the land as well as the atrocious weather. It is a mass of unclimbed peaks, most of them never seen due to constant cloud cover. As soon as they arrived, they organised another expedition. As Chris said: "We needed to quickly find someone who could take us into the fjords of the Cordillera Darwin, and we were lucky enough to find Agustin who was willing to take us the 48 hour journey in his vintage 36 ft wooden ketch, starting the next day! In one-day we had organised the 7th British expedition to Cordillera Darwin in 30 years. We had virtually no maps, and a few sea charts showing the coastline. It was thrilling to have no idea what we might find next"

They climbed peaks previously unmarked or unknown and were blessed with some wonderful clear weather which allowed them to see sights rarely if ever viewed in the area. This part of the expedition, for everyone, was by far the most memorable because everyone achieved all that they had hoped to do, which was to explore the unexplored.

ED. Another local pupil, Jeremy Mason set off for Iceland last month with the BSES and no doubt we will have a chance to talk to him about his adventures when he returns.

If you would like more information on Chris's expedition, look up the BSES Millennium expedition web site - www.antarctic-expedition.org

Community Council confirms Oracle set up.

At a meeting of the Community Council on the 11th July, Councillors gave permission to Mr I Roberts, Treasurer of St Mary’s PCC Overton, to express his concern over the alleged bias of reporting in the Oracle in relation to Knolton Bryn Mission, and to further express his view that as the Oracle was supported financially by the Community Council, then the Community Council was accountable for its content.

The Chairman made it quite clear that when it decided to set up the Oracle team, it was never the intention that it should be a sub-committee of the Council, as persons outside the Council can be and should be a part of the team, and indeed it started off that way. To support this, he cited the the fact that 16 volunteer distributors helped the team every month. It was funded separately like other non-council run organisations, and therefore it was inappropriate that the Council should censor its content. A motion put forward by Cllr Humphreys that the Oracle should be accountable editorially to the Community Council was lost on an 8 to 2 vote.

The Oracle team continues to be the voice of the community, not the voice of the Community Council, and the editorial team still wishes to extend its numbers. If you would like to play an active part in its production, please telephone any team member.

Overton Brownies Litter Campaign Gets Under Way

Overton Brownies started their litter campaign in Overton, on Monday 17th July. Starting from the Playschool, where they hold their meetings, they set off collecting as much litter as they could along School Lane, Dark Lane, High Street, Willow Street and Wrexham Road. The idea for the campaign came from the Brownies themselves, who deceided that it would be a worthwhile project towards their Conservation badge.

From left to right: Vicky Richardson, Alice Eardley, Nicole Langley and Sian Nickless seen here tidying up the High Street.

Postbag

Dear Sirs,

Yet again you have published a letter on the subject of Knolton Mission which although well-meaning in its content, adds nothing to the already substantial, biased opinion and hearsay which has filled the pages of the Oracle over the last nine editions.

The letter itself is unsigned and should not be published unless the writer is prepared to stand by his, or her, comments. This was also the case in the January edition when you added the footnote "for the time being, we will not be publishing any more letters on the subject". Instead you published more inflammatory articles in March, April, and May, an advertisement in June and now more correspondence in July.

The first paragraph advises that Knolton Bryn "retains a dedicated body of supporters". Can the writer explain the difference between a regular worshipper at the Mission and the "supporters" who have never had anything to do with the Mission, do not live in the parish and contribute nothing to its upkeep. Could we be advised what the regular attendance was in, say, the winter or spring of 1998/99, before the present furore started and support this by evidence from the record of collections? There is no denying that the Mission is much loved but where is the evidence that it is, or has been for many years, "thriving".

On the question of money, the matter, please, once and for all, has been taken out of the hands of the PCC. The letter would much better be directed to the higher authorities now dealing with the issue and if published in the Oracle should be informative not repeat comments of many previous editions. The last paragraph states that the writer is "reliably informed that a growing number of people are unhappy with the whole business and have decided to cancel or not renew their covenanted donations to St Mary's".

Reliably informed by whom? I am the Treasurer and neither I nor the covenant secretary, who are the only persons in a position to judge, have released this information which is totally without foundation. By printing the letter, you sow the seeds of such a misguided action and once more you're causing great damage by using the publication as a political platform to prolong the division between our communities. Regarding the envelopes, these were printed in March 1999 and were in issue until the new supply arrived in April 2000 when reference to Knolton Bryn was removed.

As St Mary's Treasurer, a member of the PCC but more importantly a resident of Overton, may I refer you to your editorial of January 2000 when you say the editorial team has reported "fairly and accurately". So far as an Knolton Bryn Mission is concerned, you have failed on both counts.

I am writing to you at greater length on the supposed independence of the Oracle from its sponsoring body, the Community Council, and ask finally how you can allege independence when the members of the team are, without exception, members of the Community Council or its Clerk.

Ian V. Roberts

NEWS IN BRIEF

  • Congratulations to Tracy Evans, Tracy Hanmer and Diane Rodenhurst who successfully completed and passed the Computer Literacy and Information Technology Course held at the Village Hall under the unflappable tutelage of Mr Ian Robinson to whom they offer their grateful thanks. This course follows on from the AVOW free introduction course and if there is enough demand for further courses, which are highly recommended and good fun as well as informative, the Oracle will let you know.

  • The organisers of the Flower Festival held in St Mary’s Church, the Methodist Church and Our Lady of the Welsh Martyrs, wish to thank everyone who helped in any way to make it such a success.

  • Congratulations to James Burton, eldest son of Jill and David Burton of Maelor Court, who got married on August 4th. James and Lucy are living near Godalming, Surrey.

  • Congratulations to Sian Louise Williams, daughter of Geoff and Marlene Williams, School Lane, Overton, and to Andrew Jones, son of Malcolm and Judy Jones of Ludlow Road, Bangor-on-Dee, who were married at St Mary’s Church, Overton on Saturday 24th June. The reception was held in a Marquee at Willington Cross, Tallarn Green. The honeymoon was spent in Hawaii.

  • It is with deep regret we announce that Paul David Overthrow has passed away. Our sincere condolences are extended to his family and relatives. Overton Scout Leaders have been contacted by several former friends of Paul, who are now scattered over the country, expressing their grief and asking for their condolences to be passed to the family. Paul was a former Cub and Scout in Overton Group.

  • Anyone interested in having a stall or entering the five-a-side football competitions at the Fun Day on 19th August (see back page) please contact Cynthia Davies on 710658 or Gill Evans on 710387. The Fun day will be followed by a Disco in the Evening in the Village Hall from 8.00pm to 12.00pm with music provided by Ron Jones of Marcher Sound.

Pictured above is Leone Wynne, aged 5 receiving 1st Prize in the Potato and Spoon race at Overton Primary School Sports Day on 19th July.

WHAT’S ON

OVHMC

FUN DAY

Saturday 19th August

2.00pm - 5.00pm

Overton Playing Fields

Fairground rides and side shows,

Big Draw, Stalls and 5-a-side football competitions

PRIZE BINGO

at

Overton Village Hall

7th September

commencing 8.00pm.

Overton W.I.

Produce Show

Saturday 2nd September

includes Handicraft Show